AMC’s The Walking Dead has enlightened us with survival tips for the day America is overrun with walkers. However, jumping straight into The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, you will find yourself roaming deserted towns and lonely roads that will make you wonder as to how you’re still lucky enough to be alive.
The first tip? Walkers can see, hear and smell you. Don’t let their mangled heads and bodies fool you. You’d be surprised how lethal a one-armed walker can be. Crouching and moving slowly makes you less noticeable, which is key as you travel around. More noise will only draw attention, so moving swiftly and silently is essential. If one walker hears you, the rest of the herd will, too. It’s only a matter of time before you’re surrounded and you become one of them.
As you navigate walker-infested environments, use your surroundings to your best advantage. Crouch to get cover from cars, walls, debris – anything that keeps you hidden. Stay alert though as you don’t want to be caught off guard and swarmed by walkers ready to rip you to shreds. Having your back up against a wall will almost guarantee you a one-way ticket to walker hell, so keep moving.
You’ll find this tip useful in the beginning of the journey, and while it may seem obvious, it is excellent practice – instead of heading head-on into walkers, flank the outside areas of towns and shoot down straggling walkers from afar, before heading towards the centre.
If you get overwhelmed, you want to make sure to give yourself some breathing room and a chance to run away and live to fight another day. Shutting doors behind you should become a healthy habit to adopt. Walkers can attack from behind and often you won’t hear them coming. A closed door may not stop the walkers completely, but will surely slow them down. The more time you give yourself the better.
As you advance throughout each stopover, take note of all collectibles. Good items to stock up on are scattered and hidden, including MRE’s (meals ready to eat) and sports drinks. These items replenish your health, allowing you to continue the mission. Besides food, you also come across weapons and ammo. Ranged weapons such as shotguns and sniper rifles are great, but alert any surrounding walkers to your location. Melee weapons such as axes, knifes and hammers are great for close combat. Ammo is extremely scarce, so you must ration and preserve bullets for extreme encounters.
Walkers are attracted to anything that grabs their attention. Since the goal is to be the last thing that catches their eye, find your best distraction method. Bottles and flares can be used to divert walkers when thrown across in the opposite direction. It’s an easy way to create a safe route to your next destination.
Propane tanks can be used as a makeshift bomb, ready and waiting to blast away anything nearby. Strategically place them near or around a herd and – once at a safe distance – shoot the explosive and enjoy the walker firework show. Hidden around certain levels, you’ll come across grenades; don’t miss this golden opportunity, because any explosive is your ticket to safety. Since grenades are rare, use them sparingly and to their maximum potential. It would be smart to hold onto them until you can really maximise the damage they do. A great strategy is running around walkers to lure them all into one large group. Run to a safe distance, throw the grenade, and boom goes the dynamite – along with the remains of plenty of walkers.
To live to see another day you must have a solid team. Always remember that you aren’t alone in this walker-infested world, so make sure you’re on the lookout for survivors. They offer you different items and weapons, and can help with activities such as hunting and retrieving fuel. For instance, early in the videogame, you meet a desperate man trapped for what looks like weeks. Helplessly stuck in a garage, he offers you gas for your truck in exchange for a safe ride out of town. Being that this is early on you have enough seats in your car. Completing this task returns a decent trade-off as you get the help of a stealthy survivor who can assist in scavenging for gas, food and supplies. Make team choices that better your chance for survival: you’ll run into conflicts when coming across survivors, but at the end of the day, everyone can’t fit in your car, and there’s rarely enough food to feed every empty stomach.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is set for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U later this month, giving you the opportunity to put your own survival tactics into practice. Think you’ve got what it takes? Join the debate over on the Electronic Theatre forum, and let us know what your top tips are.